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Thread: Teaching Revit online instead of face to face, thoughts and preparation

  1. #1
    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    Teaching Revit online instead of face to face, thoughts and preparation

    I'm looking at the strong possibility of teaching Revit to first years next term,starting 3 weeks from now. These students have never used Revit before. I teach at Advanced Diploma level, ages between 18-68 often. The goal is completion of working drawings of a simple residential building with example drawings supplied in PDF format for them to replicate. We go all the way from boundary and topography to modelling flashings on skillion roofs. There is also forays into family editing and creation. We have already used SketchUp,which is a wonderful introduction to the world of 3D navigation and basic modelling, along with the ability to learn software. Now for the big gun. In these times of uncertainty the priorities and preparation become, for me anyway;
    • PREPARING MYSELF AND STUDENTS
      For me, acceptance that things will happen. Crossing bridges as we come to them. The ability to 'wing it' comes easier after quite a few years of doing this in classrooms. There is nothing wrong with saying 'sorry, my fault, back we go'. It actually teaches them how to resolve mistakes. I never hide mistakes in online tutorials for that reason.
      Yesterday I had my possibly last face to face with them this term. Only a few were in. Have you got Revit loaded according to my download and install tutorial?
      One on one check that each there had successful installs, templates, libraries, materials, various option settings, all of which suit my requirements for the delivery
      Emails will be sent out to those who didn't attend to address the download/install process again. It's not always a cle
    • DELIVERY PLATFORM
      We tested out in the classroom the Zoom tool now embedded within each of our Moodle online Unit sites. (for those who don't know Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) provided for online delivery and assessment used throughout the world). This enabled us to confirm immediately who was seeing what, what happened when I press this, etc.. Hugely beneficial instead of going online cold. We basically ran a zoom session with us all in the room at same time. The students who weren't there will be helped by others in a class chat setup they have as well as emails I send out prior.
    • RESOURCES
      I have a Moodle site purely for Revit resources. Absolute gold.
      I have about 120 videos online already, on Autodesk global and on vimeo. (Changed to Vimeo as I found the Autodesk Screencast was crap for content management). Some of these these videos are step by step videos of building this case study home that I have made over the years in my own time. Funny about that, it may well be my saviour.
    • SESSION PLANNING
      Those of you familiar with educational delivery are aware of session plans. How does the 3 hr session go? What is delivered at what time in the session? This goes out the window now, as there will be a natural delay in getting each session to hit the completion goals needed. This is influenced even by the need to slow down my mouse across screen for them to see mouse actions. It just becomes 'we can do what we can do'.
      As anyone who teaches Revit at a college level knows, each class delivery is dynamically influenced by pace, understanding, repetition etc. It is not an easy subject to teach anyway. It is not like experts teaching knowledgable people. Gone is the ability to keep your eye on the puzzled eyebrows of those who you have picked as your indicators of whether or not something got in.
      Of course there is normal delivery approaches used, like starting the session explaining what will happen, then a revision of that at end.
    • HARDWARE AND FACILITIES
      Does each student have NBN broadband, or even just ADSL2? Some work off phone data as they rent. That gets blown quickly
      Do they have hardware to help? I have hoped/insisted they have a larger monitor to run next to laptop.
      Time to set myself up at home. Do I have everything needed?
      Visual aids such as the largest cursor and also having a circle flash around it when I press CTRL help. Have used that for years.
      My experience creating tutorials over the years, and watching many others has certainly taught me about what works and what doesn't.
      My Teacher copy of Revit requires VPN to Institute to connect with licence. That's an easy one to miss in prep before session!
    • STUDENT BEHAVIOUR IN ZOOM SESSION
      A need to a calm approach is needed. We have the zoom facility of putting up hands to ask questions, rather than copious messages.
      I have made them aware I am learning this delivery approach as well. I can only do my best.
      Agreement with students when breaks happen in session
      Tell them to have all programs open
      Tell them to NOT have private stuff open on laptops, I may be using their screen to show class. Obviously this is agreed to beforehand.
      They must wear clothes!!
      Obviously agreement beforehand that their voice, camera and screen may be heard/viewed by others
    • FOLLOW UPS
      Zoom sessions will be recorded for revision. At least they can stop and start that, like a normal tutorial.
      Follow up emails clarifying issues
      Resources/links/families etc used during sessions will be provided before and/or after the session.
      We all have that 'uhoh, sorry, go back two steps' moment. That's a delicate issue, now harder to confirm quickly that everybody is back to the same point.
    • OTHER METHODS
      If I had 6 months to prepare it would become an entirely different ballgame. Then other methods such as a detailed workbook to work through comes into play. But I don't have the time.

    I am confident I can get them there in the end. It would be interesting to hear of other Educators facing this and their experience and preparation. Who knows, my list and thoughts might help someone. And that is what is important in these times. It is going to be interesting, challenging and demanding. Above all is the student experience and building of knowledge.

    cheers

  2. #2
    Member Modderhoop's Avatar
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    On our shool we currently use MS Teams, works great, you can record everything so people can watch it back later. People can also ask questions in the chat or screenshare their own display, witch you then can control from your own pc.
    You could mute people that talk to much.

    For the hardware, where i live, its considerd you own problem if your internet is ****, or hardware is not powerfull enough, you get a sheet with the requirements that you have to meet, its your own responsibility to buy all the stuff needed. Because i work par time, i get most of it funded from my work.
    Also getting unlimited mobile data is getting a lot cheaper lately, and any recent machine can run Revit with small projects no problem.

    Same with the library and other content, have a tutorial on how to prepare it all and check if its all how its supposed to be.
    Checking each students machine if everything is configured correctly, i would only do if problems occur.

    For the length of the session, i would only do 1-2 hours max, then after that stay connected, and let them work on their projects, if they have questions, they can ask them with voice or chat. You could also screenshare to see their progress.

    Dont worry about everything not going exactly to plan, my teachers also did not know what to do, just start and see where it heads, you most likely will be fine.
    Last edited by Modderhoop; March 24th, 2020 at 09:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    Nice and informative to hear that from the other side.

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    Try to keep your sessions short and focussed on 1 point, its quite hard to remember a lot off stuff when your just new to Revit, doing it yourself after a short session works well. Let them find some stuff on their own to, if you solve a problem yourself you remember it a lot easier when you need it again.

    Like:
    When at the very start your explaining the ribbon and its functions, only show the architectural and modify tab, these are the most commonly used and probably enough for the first few hours of moddeling. You dont overwhelm them with the amount of tools in the ribbon all at once.

    When i first started with Revit, they gave me a little beginners course, and after that straight to modelling a full house, i figured most stuff out when just moddeling. Tbh, 90% of my Revit skills i learned myself, with a lot of trail and error. Especially when you start messing with family's (not sure if your students are), there can be a lot of different aproaches to a problem, witch everyone can solve differently, you could compare everyones methodes and see witch one is the best, or maybe there are multiple good solutions.

    Family's are also good objects to reverse engineer, and then remake it yourself, and see if it works. I got dropped in a company with barely any Revit users, i reverse engineerd a lot of family's to figure out how it worked, (family type parameters, subfamilys ect.).

    Giving your students a completed project could also be helpfull, to see how everything is made, and how it all works together.

    Just randomly writing down my thoughts.
    Last edited by Modderhoop; March 24th, 2020 at 10:20 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    Great points and thank you. Over the break they have my list of about 8 hours of tutorials to watch. Not complete, just watch. Familiarise. I only enter structural tab in second year. First year stays in architectural. Good point about time duration. Reminds me of my learning, spsce at end for questions and clarification.

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    I am in the same boat. Starting online teaching tomorrow. I have gone the mode of delivering to them a recorded video of my "lecture/demo" each week. They can watch at their own time and pace. I decided to NOT do a live lecture via Zoom just because I find in most class sessions I get very few questions, so instead i am going to totally recorded and then asking them to contact me with questions and set up one on one Zoom sessions for questions about what they are currently working on. I think this is going to be easier on both my time management and their time management. who knows how it will work. I have had student in the past who worked out arrangements with me to take my class "online" and never came to a class physically. They just used videos i posted and asked questions via e-mail and it worked out for them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    I may well blend a few of those in as well. No reason i cant record a private zoom session beforehand i suppose, then they can view that. Great idea jeff. There must be a hell of a lot of storage being used in the cloud at the mo ent.

  8. #8
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    Hi Biff,

    I am currently in the same shoes. I have been teaching CAD for over 15 years face to face, and now have been thrust online by the current situation.

    I have been looking at a range of delivery options.
    These include; our online platform (Moodle), Google classroom, Canvas, Trello, O365, Adobe Connect, Apple Education, Microsoft Azure to mention a few :0 .

    For me the issue is not so much recording the videos, but managing the delivery. I think the simplest is Classroom from what I can see, but would value your thoughts.

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    Member Modderhoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAD Teach View Post
    Hi Biff,

    I am currently in the same shoes. I have been teaching CAD for over 15 years face to face, and now have been thrust online by the current situation.

    I have been looking at a range of delivery options.
    These include; our online platform (Moodle), Google classroom, Canvas, Trello, O365, Adobe Connect, Apple Education, Microsoft Azure to mention a few :0 .

    For me the issue is not so much recording the videos, but managing the delivery. I think the simplest is Classroom from what I can see, but would value your thoughts.
    You could also upload your videos to youtube, and manage them in playlists, my teacher does that as well.
    These are our Revit videos: (in Dutch)
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKY...9LQA/playlists

  10. #10
    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAD Teach View Post
    Hi Biff,

    I am currently in the same shoes. I have been teaching CAD for over 15 years face to face, and now have been thrust online by the current situation.

    I have been looking at a range of delivery options.
    These include; our online platform (Moodle), Google classroom, Canvas, Trello, O365, Adobe Connect, Apple Education, Microsoft Azure to mention a few :0 .

    For me the issue is not so much recording the videos, but managing the delivery. I think the simplest is Classroom from what I can see, but would value your thoughts.
    Hi there CAD Teach. Welcome. This forum has helped me no end in the last 9 years. It is surprising just how often something comes up in class and the answer happens in an active thread that night here! Spooky.
    Anyhoo, question is Uni or TAFE?.. I am TAFE, so probably working with less resources that Universities. I would imagine the Universities might have less pain/more resources. But more students!
    ZOOM has been inserted into each Moodle Unit by my TAFE and the process is quite easy as far as I've seen. Will use that.
    Video resources I will be using are my personal Vimeo channel and my Autodesk Screencast videos.. I have already assembled 20 or so videos on Vimeo, some of which are about the project I'm doing next term with them. I don't have them as public access as they are project specific stuff. I also have about 90 or so up on Autodesk Screencast. Not using that anymore as the video management system is crap, very little development of it and each file needed a separate link if you were keeping them private.The only good thing about it was a timeline below the video showing tool and command usage. It's a pity, but it drove me bonkers. All these videos I have made over the last 5 years or so in my own time, they may just be my saviour.
    Supporting it via
    -ppt delivery on moodle,
    -ZOOM review after recording,
    -make a specific video after zoom session for a tricky part encountered.
    -A separate Moodle site with Revit resources.
    There is lots to consider re managing delivery. Speed of delivery will be slower. Allowance for breaks more often maybe. I have asked for my 2 sessions/week to be one day. Yes, brain fade can happen but it does mean one day dedication to CAD/BIM, managed with careful watching of take-up. They slow down, I slow. I have already sent out 'be prepared' lists for them these hols.
    Haven't looked at Classroom or the others. Simply no time now. Go with what I have.
    Happy to discuss further specifics via pm, so as not to fill thread up with minutiae.
    Session theory overall is.......Cut and array, align and trim accordingly.
    cheers

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